Members of the Society of Actuaries are defending themselves against the rise of the data scientists by having the SOA shift to a new, more market-oriented structure.
SOA members have voted 92.3% to 7.7% to move the top-level SOA entity to a charter based on Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, from a 501(c)(3) charter, the SOA announced last week.
Both types of charters exempt entities from federal income taxes.
A 501(c)(3) charter lets a charity, an educational organization or research institute receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and other donors.
The supporters of a 501(c)(6) organization can’t deduct their contributions to the organization — but the organization can organize public awareness campaigns.
James Glickman, the 2018-2019 SOA president, told members in a letter explaining the charter proposal that the SOA is committed to advancing actuaries as leaders and promoting the profession.
“It is an increasingly important part of our mission to ensure the public understands the value that actuaries bring to markets and the public,” Glickman wrote in the letter. “Our members have repeatedly emphasized to us the importance of this goal.”
The SOA was formed in 1889 and now has 32,000 members. The organization plans to implement the charter change by giving its current name to a new, 501(c)(6) entity.
The existing 501(c)(3) organization will become the Society of Actuaries Research Institute. The institute will operate under the oversight of the SOA and continue to use tax-deductible contributions to fund its work.